Skip to comments.Rush Limbaugh Live Thread Thursday December 7th
Posted on 12/07/2006 8:49:54 AM PST by MNJohnnie
The Military and The Media
The divide grows
FALLUJAH, IRAQ: I've completed the first leg of the journey to Iraq, after having moved through Dubai, Kuwait and Baghdad. I am now at Camp Fallujah. While in Fallujah, I'll embed with a Marine Police Transition Team (PTT) and also meet with the Civil Affairs Group. The next stop will be Ramadi.
The trip - from my front door to Fallujah - took 3 ½ days, accounting for the 8 hour time shift between the East Coast and Iraq. This is remarkable considering Iraq is a war zone. I spent all of 35 minutes in the Green Zone getting my ID badge and another two hours waiting for a flight to Fallujah. Most of the time was spent waiting at military airbases, trying to catch that next flight out on a plane or helicopter.
During my movement to Fallujah, I was on 3 bases and one camp: At Ali Al Salem (Kuwait), BIAP (Baghdad International Airport), Camp Stryker, and LZ Washington (inside the Green Zone).
The travel is long, and it can be boring if you let it get to you. But you're surrounded by a bunch of soldiers, Marines and contractors that are also traveling, many of them alone. They are either coming back from or going on leave, or moving into or out of the region. Most of them are quite friendly and happy to strike up a conversation. This is an interesting time to speak to them, because they are not as engrossed in the daily grind of Iraq as they are when I see them while I'm embedded. Here is a brief overview of some of the discussions I had with those I met while shuttling around Kuwait and Iraq.
Ali Al Salem:
At the transient tent (where you get to sleep and store your gear while waiting), I spoke to an Explosive Ordinance and Demolitions (EOD) contractor. These are the guys that blow up the leftover explosives and munitions from the Saddam era. He told me about how the media isn't telling the full story about the nature of the enemy, and specifically complained about the manipulation and distortion of the Kay report. He said he's run across bunkers and the equipment and chemical precursors to WMD buried in the deserts of western Iraq.
During a smoke break, an Army private discussed his time in Balad. He said mortars (which are blind-fired) are the greatest threat his unit faces. Not IEDs, I asked? Nope. While waiting to board the flight to BIAP, a Marine Major complained about how the progress in western Iraq has virtually gone unnoticed, and was furious over the characterization of the Devlin report on Anbar province. I gave him my card.
I had the pleasure being the only person on the shuttle bus from BIAP to Camp Stryker, and the driver, an Army specialist, struck up a conversation with me. I needed a SIM chip for my cell phone so I could call the States and in Iraq, so he took me across the base on some extremely bumpy roads looking for a place that sold them. During the drive, he explained his forays into Sadr City, how the residents were largely hostile to U.S. forces, and some engagements he's encountered. Yet he spoke admirably of the Iraqi people. He said they were hard working and willing to fight, and hoped we wouldn't abandon the Iraqi people.
We couldn't find an open store that sold the SIM chip, so he kindly offered to give me his as he knew I was desperate. I paid him for the card and a little extra to call home. He said he'll get a new card tomorrow.
While waiting to catch the flight to the Green Zone, I spoke to two Army captains, one who works in Civil Affairs, the other with the Military Transition Teams. Both explained how the situation could look very different based on your job, but that the Iraqi police and Army were making real progress. They said the Iraqis' skills ranged from poor to excellent, but they always saw improvement.
I also overheard an Army specialist sitting behind me curse the media (and I mean curse), saying they didn't know what they were talking about when it came to Iraq. I talked to him, and explained I'm considered a reporter, and that I won't argue with his points. I made him uncomfortable. Had he known I was 'the press' I think he would have kept it to himself.
While waiting to manifest on the flight to Fallujah, CNN played a news segment of President Bush announcing there would be no graceful exit from Iraq, and that we'd stay until the mission was complete. Two sergeants in the room cheered. Loudly. They then scoffed at the reports from Baghdad, and jeered the balcony reporting.
In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the ground. They felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and several stated some reporters were only interested in blood and guts. They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war. They felt the media had abandoned them.
During each conversation, I was left in the awkward situation of having to explain that while, yes, I am wearing a press badge, I'm not 'one of them.' I used descriptions like 'independent journalist' or 'blogger' in an attempt to separate myself from the pack.
What a terrible situation to be in, having to defend yourself because of your profession. I've always said that the hardest thing about embedding (besides leaving my family) is wearing the badge that says 'PRESS.' That hasn't changed. I hide the badge whenever I can get away with it.
This isn't the first time I encountered this sentiment from the troops. I experienced this attitude from the Marines while I was in western Iraq last year, and the soldiers in the Canadian Army in Afghanistan also expressed frustration with the media's presentation of the war.
Perhaps this tension between the media and the military is nothing new. But it appalls me none the less.
Oh god forbid!
Of course, if we were talking about Dr. Williams and wife, Mrs. Williams would be doing the shovelling.
Hope she liked the shovel Walter bought her!
Last year said he was getting her shoe cleats so that when she was outside scraping the ice off HIS car, that she wouldn't slip and fall. A very considerate man, is Mr. Williams.
Did you hear Baker saying that the report is meant to be implemented in its' entirety and not cherry picked?
This is a total setup of Bush--Any of the ISG recommendations that are not implemented will be used as weapons against Bush.
What a betrayal.
And I think he will!
Exactly and he should!
BOR was drooling over this report. He called Baker and his team "intellectual giants; and that Bush should do what they say.
It's a typical mess of "process" over outcome. All that matters is the process. It keeps folks like Baker and Hamilton employed. We must have meetings, and summits, and conferences (in nice resort areas of course!.)
Paid for by the taxpayers of the U.S.A of course.
The enemy must be rolling on the floor laughing at this garbage.
Says a lot about BOR.
But nothing we didn't already know about him.
Cheers! [clink] and Happy Birthday!
Iraq: Fighters welcome report that advises withdrawal of US troops
I like the way the good Doctor always then talks about how lucky she is to have him.
On the subject of Baker's report; it hasn't got much play in the news here so far (we have ANOTHER Diana inquest here to occupy ourselves with), but I did hear Chris Hitchens giving it an almighty slagging off on Hugh Hewitt yesterday.
Thought it was interesting that W made of point of mentioning that he and Tony would be "considering" rather than "implementing" the recommendations.
Happy Birthday to you as well!
I turned on Rush about fifteen minutes late-what did he say about Apocalypto?
You know the worst thing I heard on the news last night was Panetta saying that the ISG report is the LAST chance for Iraq. I wanted to reach through the TV and strangle the guy. What a complete IDIOT!!!
This is the BOR quote.
The first line of the Iraq Study Group's report says that the situation in Iraq is grave and getting worse. That is true. The top recommendation is that American forces pull out of chaotic districts and concentrate on training and supporting the Iraqi military, thereby pressuring the Iraqi government to control the violence. That sound good on paper, but success is in doubt. That's because many Iraqis have no allegiance to the government in Baghdad. Can the USA overcome that problem? Well, after nearly four years in Iraq, the answer looks to be no, but it is worth one more shot. The report also says the USA should talk with Iran and Syria. That's fine, but good luck. Expecting much from these fanatics is a stretch. There are two primary reasons the Iraq campaign has failed - the USA misjudged the Iraqi people, and Iran has undermined all attempts at securing liberty by arming and inciting the Shi'a militias. Iran is doing this in order to dominate Iraq when the USA leaves, and once that happens the rest of the gulf will become destabilized. What a mess! The Iraq Study Group did a good job, but at this point, if the Iraqis want to kill each other, we should let them. Our main goal should be preventing Iran from securing a foothold in Iraq, and getting our troops into more secure positions. By the way, the real name of the Iraq Study Group should be the Iran Study Group."
He raved about it...very violent, but highly recommended.
Well to find a rich gal, you might have to do the dating thing, ie, go to a "Chick Flick".
BTW, welcome to FR.
I love Margaret Thatcher. She's one for the ages.
HH: When they write about Iran, that we need to engage them, a full blown diplomatic offensive, what possible opportunity is there to engage Ahmadinejad and Khatami, and the rest of the mad mullahs?
CH: Well, its not as if it hasnt been tried, you see. I mean, Ive talked recently to a lot of people in Washington, British and American, and other Europeans, too, whove been involved in these very long, drawn out negotiations of Iraq. Theyve been made a lot of very handsome offers for directors, and theyve been handed great bushels of carrots as well, often, I would say, rather humiliating sized bushels. And the thing is, they wont take them. I mean, they wont take these offers. Its not that we are refusing to be nice to them. Its that they arent interested in this kind of negotiation. And certainly not if it comes at any price such as they have to prove theyve been adhering to a treaty they solemnly signed, namely the non-proliferation treaty. They wont do that. Theyve been repeatedly caught cheating and concealing. And so, for anyone to say that we havent exhausted the option of being nice, or making nice, is flat out fatuous. Were it otherwise, I still think that it would be a very good thing for the United States to say publicly where Iranians can hear it, because we know that theres a huge reservoir of sympathy for democracy and friendship within Iran. And also, the people can get satellite dishes and internet access and so on. Theyre not imprisoned as the Iraqis were, and the North Koreans still are. We can talk directly to them. Im in favor of making all kinds of approaches of that sort, over the heads of these scrofulous mullahs who of course do not reflect the Iranian peoples choice, and are the product of a laughably rigged election.
RUSSIAN BUSINESSMAN WHO HAD TEA WITH DEAD EX-SPY FALLS INTO COMA
The mystery continues.
Why are they still having inquests about Diana's death? More conspiracy theories from Mohammed al Fayed?
Thanks for that.
I'll forward that to a few people.
God I miss Hitchens.
I'm glad you have Ozzy and Catherine Zeta-Jones, but Hitch I'd like back one day!
Well, so far, I am 30 pages in and IT IS A JOKE. I will keep you posted as to the level of torture that I am able to withstand.
One big, recurring theme is how the region is affecting Iraq. WELL NO S**T BAKER! If you guys are so certain that the region is causing chaos, how about a few mines in the roads where the smugglers are traveling? Clinton loved Tomahawks so much, how about we send a few into Syria and send a few to blow up some arms shops in Iran? We may not be able to go after the nuke sites, but if Iran is arming an insurgency that is killing Americans, I would say that that is a Declaration of War and their Arms Depots are fair game. Fire away boys!!!!! You would think that we have never fought a war before.
Thank you, sorry I missed it!
To me its one of those collective psychological things. The UK public loved her (apart from me and Richard Littlejohn) and couldn't believe that she had a death caused by something as ordinary as being p***ed out of his head on Champagne.
In a different realm it reminded me of the disappearance of the Gaul (a Hull fishing boat that went down off Norway in '74). For years we had all this crap about the Soviets torpedoing or capturing it. I'm wasn't Mr. Brezhnev's biggest fan, but I don't think he had any desire to take out or capture a boat full of cod and smelly British sailors.
Inquests dragged on until about 1997 and concluded what anyone with half a brain had always known. It was a crappy old boat and should never have been so far out in that weather.
Same will happen with Diana eventually.
Driver was drunk; shoulda got a taxi.
It's all rainbows and puppies with Baker.
Rush is singing my song about that BBC w*****.
Smug git that reporter.
These stupid reporters will never get it. Bush is throwing pearls before swine (staying with the pig theme).
Hey, that's an insult to pigs!!!
W did right to spank him.
You should've seen Tony with this tosspot from Sky News last month.
Reporters are all dem hacks.
Does anyone have the lyrics to Rush's "Talk to the Terrorists" song parody?
Hey Rush! Michael Savage had some interesting things to say about the report!
That tosser of a reporter is on BBC RIGHT NOW!
"George Bush said nothing today, all the substance came from the Prime Minister"!
I watched it Nick, W gave you PLENTY of substance pal.
And now we're going back to the Diana inquest....
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